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Take Your Leadership from Frustrated to Master Coach (#180)


The Confident Leader


“Robin, I’ve been reading your newsletters for the past two weeks focused being a coaching leader, but my team keeps messing up and I am frustrated. I don’t see how coaching can help. What do I do?” said Mario, the CEO of business with huge potential.

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

Benjamin Franklin

This Week’s Edition

We offer three simple questions to coach your team to their potential. 

Clarify Your Thinking

“I really want to incorporate more coaching into how I am engaging my leaders, because I can feel that my current approach is not effective,” Mario said. 

“What’s holding you back?” I asked.

“My leaders know what to do, but they’re making mistake after mistake. I spend too much time telling them what they did wrong and how to do it right. I’m frustrated and I’m sure they are tired of listening to me drone on and on.” 

Mario is not alone. Leaders are often triggered when they experience well-trained team members who fail to meet expectations. These experiences can derail otherwise good leaders who care about their team’s development. 

Mario shared, “I think I am a pretty good leader, but my Achilles heel is how I tend to overreact with my team when they don’t do the things, I know they know how to do.”

Common triggers in these types of situations are: 

  • Lack of attention to detail
  • Failure to completely follow through
  • Disregard for stated policies
  • Failure to take initiative

Old Thinking: Maybe if I make my point slightly more vigorously this time, the team will finally hear me and make the necessary adjustment, so this doesn’t happen again (and again).

New Thinking: Continuing to drone on and on is not getting me anywhere with my team. I need a new way. Maybe “coaching” can help, but what does that practically sound like?

Thoughts Lead to Actions

If you are looking for a practical way to break the cycle of “ranting” at your team, try this framework comprised of three simple questions. It may change your leadership life for the better in 2024.  Ask your team member:

  1. What are my expectations?
  2. What was the mistake?
  3. What is the correction?

Let’s assume you’re working with someone who consistently sets meetings without an agenda and wastes everyone’s time. Use these three questions as a guide to training your coaching leadership:

#1. “John, as it relates to leading meetings where everyone is prepared and we are productive, what are my expectations?”

  • “Send a meeting agenda no later than 24 hours before the meeting with time allotments and assigned owners,” said John.

#2. “What was the mistake related your meeting this week?”

  • “I didn’t do any of those things, BUT… [insert: blame, complain and defend statements from John],” John said. 

# 3. “What’s the correction?”

“Send a mtg agenda beforehand. Actually, ping the attendees for their agenda items in advance. Check with them on their topics to properly allocate the time needed. Have the agendas printed for everyone. Assign a timekeeper. Assign a scribe to capture action items. Send a follow up email with everyone’s to do’s,” John offered.

It’s likely your team knows what to do. Hold them to the standard of the stated expectation. They want to do a good job. No one is perfect. Mistakes happen. Coach them by asking these questions. 

I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised by their answers and the brevity of the conversation. You will leave the exchange feeling more confident about their future performance and the strength of the relationship with them.

Boost Your Performance

Now is as good a time as any to break the cycle of telling and begin asking your talented team these three questions. They’ll rise to the occasion as you lead them to better performance on the things they already know how to do.  

What’s Your Opinion?

Did you try these three questions? If so, let me know how it went. Share it with me at

If you are going to be a leader, you might as well be a good one. Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

We live to make bad leadership extinct so forward this newsletter to others who strive to be confident leaders. 


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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.